balding patches on back

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Boxer Booster
Hi all,

It's been a LONG while since I've been on the boards (to date myself, the person I remember most is Tulsa Dan, and mostly from when he was Brooklyn Dan!) so I hope you don't mind answering a question for a long delinquent visitor.

My boxer Riley is still our baby boy, although we now also have two skinkids. Riley is terrific with the kids, and since I am now staying at home full time he is getting more walks and love than ever, and HE is always the one who gets all the attention when the three of us go for our long walks arond the neighborhood. He is awesome.

OK, on to the question. He has started getting two balding spots on his back, on either side of where his "waist" would be. In late January he started getting the first patch, and it was just on one side. We took him in and had the vet take a look at it, and she said it was just a dry patch and looked as though maybe he had rubbed against something and it would be fine. Now he is getting one to match it on the other side. I suppose we'll take him in again and have them do a skin scraping or something.

But my husband recently saw another boxer with the very same bald spots on his back. But that boxer is 10 years old, and Riley is only 3, so it's not age related, is it? Are these spots a normal occurance? If so what causes it? What can we do to treat it? I have tried to put cream on the spots but it is not completely bald, just quite thin compared to the rest of his fur, and what fur is there makes it hard to get it on the skin well.

The spots don't seem to bother hmi a bit. He's not scratching them, or licking them, or paying any mind to them at all really. They just look odd!

Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.


beautiful brindle boxer baby boy Riley 6/9/00
skinbaby boy Declan 10/28/01
skinbaby girl Maeve 12/19/03

:eek: :eek:


Boxer Booster
They did not do any scraping when we took him in for the first spot, but I would have them do it for this second one since the first didn't go away like the doc said it probably would.

Please pardon my ignorance ...I've heard of mange but really don't know what it is. What does mange look like and how do they get it and how is it treated?


Boxer Insane
Are they little bald spots, or more widespread? Is the hair totally gone, or just very thin?

Sorry for the questions, but it might help a little as there are so many things that this could be....

Here is some info on the two most common types of mange:
Demodectic Mange
Sarcoptic Mange

3 years of age is a little old for Demodectic mange to be seen, but it does happen. There is heaps of info here on demo if you would like to try a search.

Another option might be Alopecia - info here:
Seasonal Flank Alopecia
Alopecia X
Boxerworld Thread

I hope you can find out what it is.

Good thoughts to Riley :)


Austin's Mom

Boxer Insane
Sounds like seasonal alopecia to me. Austin is starting to lose his hair on both sides about now. Happens the same time every year and is usually back by June. It looks worse than it is!

Chris & Austin


Boxer Insane

Can seasonal alopecia be anywhere on the body as Stars hair on the insides of her legs and on her stomach are getting really thin.



Boxer Booster
It is only in two spots, which are pretty much symmetrically alligned on either side of his "waist". I wish I could post a picture, but basically the spots are about 2-3 inches away from the center of his backbone on each side. It is accentuated when he is walking because it is right where he bends when he wiggles, and he wiggles a lot when he walks! They are circular patches about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and are not completely bald, but the hair has gotten quite thin. We did go out and get a new shampoo for him last month when we gave him his bath, to see if that might help the dryness, but it didn't seem to change much. Of course, it was only one bath so its not like I could expect dramatic results! Thanks for the links -- I will check them out right now!!


Boxer Booster
Wow! Great info!

I just checked out the links (and some other forum threads about alopecia) and it seems to me that seasonal alopecia is the most likely match. I'll call the vet and ask her about it. Maybe we can see about getting him on some melatonin. It probably wouldn't hurt if it relaxes him a bit too, seeing as he's been cooped up in this house with a toddler, a newborn, and a stir-crazy mommy this winter, poor guy!

Thank you all bunches and bunches for the terrific help.

Rowdy Boys

Completely Boxer Crazy
I knew as soon as you described it what you were talking about - Magnum has it too. I have never thought anything of it, because it's been like that as long as I can possibly remember and the vets have never called attention to it - you can't miss it when you look at him. It's never gotten worse, but it's never gone away either.

I will check out the threads about alopecia.

Get a T4 thyroid screen. My 3 year old male had exactly the same symetrical balding on his sides at the low rib cage area, I took him for T4 thyroid screen and he has a low thryoid condition.
He has been on .6 mg of Thyrozine since and the improvement is dramatic. I can send you pictures of his balding pattern for comparison, if you wish, but I'll bet you a dollar that's what it is.

Symmetrical balding or thinning (especially on the sides and back) is consistant with an endocrine problem, random balding or balding on the haunches or hips is consistant with Seasonal Flank Alopecia...per my wonderful vet, even my crappy vet agrees. LOL

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